Saturday, September 24, 2011

The Good and The Bad

The good comes with the bad, right?

Good news first.  Hurley has been thriving with stuffed Kongs and Wobblers at the store.  His "Go Lay Down" improved 500% overnight.  OK.  Maybe that is a slight exaggeration.  But he does go into his kennel or offer a down on his blanket in the shop with excitement and anticipation and finally pays attention to which area I am asking him to go lay down to.  He is just so tickled with himself and looking forward to his reward. The downside is that he figured out the Kong Wobbler in no time at all so I'll need to invest in a more complicated puzzle toy soon.  While the Wobbler does slowly dispense his kibble and keeps him occupied, I don't think it's that challenging to his superior intelligence.  He empties that sucker out in about 5 minutes.  Sadie & Maggie just licked it and then stared at it for 5 minutes.  I knew he was smarter than them but dang, they didn't even try to get kibble out of it!

The bad news is that Maggie does have a urinary tract infection like I thought.  And it's pretty severe according to the vet.  Last time she had a UTI, we fought it for 9+ months.  Back then, she had some anatomical issues with her lady parts that have since been surgically corrected so I don't anticipate her being on 9 months of antibiotics.  But since she does have a history of taking some time to fight them off, I'm taking the pro-active route and have her on an additional cranberry supplement this time.  Hopefully, that will give her system the extra boost it needs, along with the antibiotics, to kick this thing to the curb in no time.  The upside is that at the vet this morning, she did not react to 4 different dogs.  Not even a raised hair.  No pulling.  No excitability.  We even worked on some Sits, Downs and Leave Its in the waiting room of the vet with another dog, who was whining at her, 10 feet away.  Hooray for Maggie!  I am so, so, so proud of her progress. I once had a Maggie who loved all the dogs she came across and today, she is one giant step closer to being back to that Maggie.

So while this week started out with its share of frustrations, we are back on track and doing well.  Our health concerns and training challenges are being conquered.  Thanks to everyone for your supportive comments and suggestions - they really helped in turning our week around!


  1. Yuck for UTIs...Turk had one when we first adopted him and we fought it for months. I hope Maggie gets better soon - good for her on her behavior at the vet! Turk is usually pretty good there but Rufus is all over the place - as usual, the chihuahua exhibits the bad behavior and the pittie is well-behaved. ;)

  2. Hi Y'all,

    Seems like there are lots of UTIs going around the dog community. Antibiotics are not anybodies favorite treatment so we hope that Maggie is over her discomfort really quickly!

    Good for Hurley! My Human stopped giving me a Kong 'cause I had it figured out in five minutes. Since my allergies kept her from using good stuff like peanut butter she finally had to give up on those puzzle toys.

    Y'all come by now,
    Hawk aka BrownDog

  3. I'm sorry that Maggie is sick! Poor baby. :-(

    Have you tried freezing your kongs? We have two pits and they love their kongs. We mix up plain yogurt, applesauce, blueberries, banana (and sometimes peanut butter as a treat) and put that in the kongs, then pop them in the freezer. It takes them longer to get all the goodies out. :-)

  4. Oh Maggie, I'm sorry you're not well. And we agree with thosewhodreambyday regarding freezing the Kongs. Give it a try!

  5. hi! i'm new to your blog and would absolutely love to know how you got your dog to stop reacting to other dogs. desmond goes absolutely bonkers when he sees another dog or person, whether he knows, likes, loves, or hates the dog/person. we've tried distraction. we've tried not moving forward until he calms. we've tried turning around and going the other way when possible. nothing works. did you blog about this previously?

  6. @Lauren @ Life With Desmond
    Lauren - thanks for stopping by! Maggie is by no means perfect. She reacts to other dogs more times than not but she is improving. The vet's office was nothing short of miraculous. We took a Reactive Rover class at our local Humane Society - they taught me some basic tools to use. The goal is to re-associate the appearance of another dog with focus on you and treats. First, you need to have a solid look or touch command down. This'll be used on walks. Then, figure out your dog's other-dog-threshold, ie how close does the other dog have to be before your dog notices and also before he reacts. Then you work on getting that threshold closer and closer until it's gone by asking your dog to look/touch you and then treating. Start just beyond his threshold and work closer - take baby steps and commit to the long haul because it doesn't correct itself overnight. Hope that helps!